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European Beech

Fagus sylvatica

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European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) at Oakland Nurseries Inc

European Beech

European Beech

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

European Beech (Fagus sylvatica) at Oakland Nurseries Inc

European Beech bark

European Beech bark

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  60 feet

Spread:  45 feet

Sunlight:  full sun 

Hardiness Zone:  4b

Other Names:  Common Beech


The king of the large shade trees, with a stately, spreading habit of growth and stunning golden brown fall color, exceptionally beautiful all year round; quite particular about growing conditions, requires rich soil and significant moisture

Ornamental Features

European Beech is primarily valued in the landscape for its decidedly oval form. It has dark green deciduous foliage which emerges light green in spring. The serrated pointy leaves turn an outstanding harvest gold in the fall. The smooth silver bark is extremely showy and adds significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

European Beech is a dense deciduous tree with a shapely oval form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance tree, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

European Beech is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Shade

Planting & Growing

European Beech will grow to be about 60 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 45 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 4 feet from the ground, and should not be planted underneath power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live to a ripe old age of 120 years or more; think of this as a heritage tree for future generations!

This tree should only be grown in full sunlight. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. This species is not originally from North America.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Fall Color  Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features
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